So recently, I went back and watched Summerslam 2013. This PPV was actually a really good one. It was probably one of the better Summerslams in recent years and there was very little about this PPV that I didn’t like. I remember not liking the Bray Wyatt vs Kane match and the divas match and… that’s pretty much it. Del Rio vs Christian for the World Title was a solid match as was the match between Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. The ending of Summerslam particularly was what I really loved about Summerslam, because Randy Orton and Triple H had turned heel and we saw an incredible double turn with those two which was executed brilliantly. However, I wanted to go back and watch a match from that PPV which was the best match of the night. It was CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar and the reason I wanted to go back and watch this one, is because I’ve been very back and forth in the last few years as to just HOW good this match was.
This was a very physical and well paced match. There wasn’t a time where it looked like they were stalling for no reason. There wasn’t a time which I thought the match began to fall apart or dire down. Punk delivered a great amount of an attack onto Brock and the fans were going NUTS for this match. The submission spots with the kimuras and armbars was well worked and it was sort of done in a way to resemble a really fight. Brock was trying to fight like he would if he was back in UFC. There was a sense of realism which I missed initially watching it that did add to the match. Punk might argue that a loss would have made him look weak, but he looked incredibly good against Lesnar in this match. I think even in loss, he would have come off really well if he wasn’t booked in the awful feuds with Ryback and Curtis Axel.
I actually did do a review of the entire PPV back in 2013, which you can find at this link. However, I wanted to pull an extract from my own review of this match at the time and I think I got a few things wrong when looking back at what I wrote. I said:
“Definitely Brock’s best match since he returned in 2012. Just a straight up brawl between the two. A lot of people before hand wondered how CM Punk would cope against Lesnar considering their sizes, but it was pretty much an even playing-field. Punk was very innovative with his submission holds here. God, Triangle Holds, Anaconda Vices, FREAKING ARMBARS! I do think Lesnar got tired quick in this match like, but Punk made up for that and was on top form tonight. However, Lesnar picking up the win does hinder Punk a little. But I don’t think it’ll hinder him THAT much. I think Punk will probably hit it big and will likely be in the WWE Title frame soon. However, Punk could have done with that big win over Lesnar. But it was not to be for the best, as he was no match for the BEAST… who’s now the best.”
Now let me just get onto the two things which I believe I got wrong at the time…
1. “Definitely Brock’s best match since he returned in 2012.”
I don’t think this was Brock’s best match since he returned in 2012 up until that point. And that’s only because I don’t think I gave the Brock Lesnar vs John Cena match at Extreme Rules 2012 enough credit back then. Because looking back at THAT match, I also underrated that one entirely because I didn’t realize how innovative it was. That match was unlike all the other main events you usually get in WWE. This was a BROCK LESNAR main event. It’s the type of match we’ve come to get out of Lesnar. We got it with John Cena, we got it with Roman Reigns and we got it with Kofi Kingston at Beast in the East. Nobody expected Cena to take a BEATING like that from Brock Lesnar. And considering that the Extreme Rules match was Lesnar’s first match in 8 years, he put on a quality performance. So it’s very debatable about whether the Punk match was better than that Extreme Rules match. It’s not a “definitely” that Punk’s match was better than the Cena match. It’s very hard to decide which of those two were the best match looking back in hindsight and it probably should be something I should blog about!
2. “Lesnar picking up the win does hinder Punk a little…. Punk could have done with that big win over Lesnar.”
Punk may well have needed a big win like that rolling back into WWE in June 2013. However, I was thinking too heavily on CM Punk’s need to win the big match and I think now looking back, Brock Lesnar WAS the man that needed to win that match. Just think, Brock Lesnar’s record up until that point since returning in 2012 was 2-2. He’s lost to Triple H and John Cena and his only wins were against Triple H. His only wins up until Summerslam 2013 was against the SAME MAN.
Needless to say, WWE did a great job “ruining the mystique of Brock Lesnar” really right off the bat in 2012. He shouldn’t have lost those two matches but the fact was… he had. But man, just think of how much it would have elevated the Lesnar/Punk match if he had run through those guys as opposed to losing cleanly both times. Now if Lesnar would have lost to Punk that night, he would have been 2-3 since he returned in 2012. The “unbeatable” would have been reduced to being like every other monster in WWE had he lost to Punk. Because it’s not like he’s losing due to shenanigans or anything like that, he would have lost them all clean. And if Vince was thinking to himself around Summerslam time “Let’s have Lesnar end the Undertaker’s streak”, then how badly would that moment have been damaged if he had lost to Punk?
Just think, Punk had previously tried to break Undertaker’s streak and lost. If Punk wounded up beating Lesnar and then LESNAR tried to break that streak, Brock would just look so weak as he would have lost to the guy that lost to the Undertaker. Punk was somebody that, in his own right, needed a big win of his own. Not denying that. He had lost to The Rock and Undertaker earlier that year and this would hurt Punk. However, if Taker was going to be the guy to end that streak, then that should outweigh Punk’s need to win just so he can stay as strong as all those other superstars that he got beat by.
Overall, if I was like Bryan Alvarez or Dave Meltzer, I’d give this match… a 4.5/5. I think though if Lesnar had been booked to have won those previous fights with Cena and HHH, I would have loved this match more. All the near falls and times Punk looked like he’d won would have meant a lot more and might have shifted my rating to a 4.75/5… maybe event a 5 out of 5. A bit of thought WWE… you could have made both men look SO strong after that match…